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U.S. National Criterium Championships - NE

Downer’s Grove Village, Illinois, USA, August 19-20, 2006

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Stage 4 - August 20: USCF Men’s National Criterium Championship, 80 km

Return to racing culminates with national championship

Kayle Leogrande takes field sprint for win

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Downers Grove, Ill.

Kayle Leogrande (Kalahari LaGrange)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Kahala Lagrange rider Kayle Leogrande's son sent his father a message this morning: "I know you can win, Dad!" And that message was running through his mind half-way through the race when the cramping in his legs almost made it too much for him to stay in the race. "I just kept telling myself, 'One more lap, one more lap.'" the California native said near tears after the race. His perseverance paid off as Leogrande was able to make it to the final lap where he launched himself around from ten riders back to take the all-important lead in the final two turns to win the elite national championship.

The win did not come easy as the nine of the final ten laps were led by the Bianchi-Grand Performance team out of Minneapolis. Six riders from the team kept the pace at just under blistering to prevent last-minute breakaways from escaping as they tried to set up their two sprinters. "We were looking for help from the other big teams," said Dale Sedgwick. But the help did not come so the team's efforts were wasted while the other sprinters rode the wave until the last lap.

On the final lap the team led on the uphill but around the first turn an attack by former elite road champion Scottie Weiss (Hincapie) disrupted the game plan. "At that point our sprinter Pete Hanna and I had to go and cover it," said Adam Bergman (Bianchi-Grand Performance.)

As the field reached the top of the course, near the steep section called "the wall," Leogrande made his move. "Brad Huff told me at Superweek about this course, that you have to sling-shot it around on the climb," he said. This gamble around the outside as the field tried to pick their speed back up for the turn around back down to the finish made up his ten place deficit. "If I was going to blow I was going to do it then."

But he still had juice left and recovered on the downhill towards the final four turns. "I was second going into the second to last two turns," he said. From there it was the usual drag race to the line. But for Leogrande, this was a much bigger race in terms of a whole career. He was a promising junior rider that raced with David Clinger and the likes on the L.A. Sheriff team. However, he stopped racing when he was eighteen to focus on his tattoo business, which is evident from the artwork that covers his arms and legs.

Ed Beamon (Navigators)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

He tried returning to racing a few years ago, even racing for a short time on the Jelly Belly team. But it was three years ago that he decided to come back full time. This year his results kept growing as he racked up top five places out in California. "I'm always sprinting with Rahsann Bahati and I took third place amateur at Superweek this year. But this race was my goal all year."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us

Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Matthew Moses/www.moses-images.com


1 Kayle Leogrande (USA) Kahala La Grange                          1.54.08
2 Steve Tilford (USA) Trek/Shimano                                       
3 Jamiel Danesh (USA) RhVilla.com/Montano                                
4 Eric Marcott (USA) Bianchi                                             
5 Chad Cagle (USA) mercy                                                 
6 Erik Tomlinson (USA) Dent Wizard                                       
7 Philip Wikoff (USA) Team Hotel San Jose                                
8 Jason Snow (USA) cycle science                                         
9 Shawn Willard (USA) Wheel & Sprocket                                   
10 Mark Hekman (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch                                 
11 Rich Harper (USA) Abercrombie and Fitch                               
12 Daniel Holloway (USA) GS Lombardi                                     
13 Ben Raby (USA) Bianchi/Grand                                          
14 Marco Aledia (USA) Texas Road House                                   
15 Michael Cody (USA) FiordiFrutta                                       
16 Paul Martin (USA) Texas Roadhouse                                     
17 Pete Hanna (USA) Bianchi/Grand                                        
18 David Wiswell (USA) CRCA/Sakonnet                                     
19 Brandon Gavic (USA) UW-Milwaukee                                      
20 Jeff Hartman (USA) Big Shark Racing                                   
21 Dean Laberge (USA) g.s. lombardi sports                               
22 Kevin Attkisson (USA) Texas Roadhouse                                 
23 Kevin Kremke (USA) Bike Barn Texas                                    
24 Nicholas D. Onate (USA) Karl Strauss/SDBC                             
25 Patrick Dunaway (USA) Cal Giant                                       
26 Edgar Ibarra (USA) Richardson Bikmart                                 
27 Shadd Smith (USA) Trek/Volkswagen-Mid                                 
28 Jaime Gandara (USA) Richardson Bikmart                                
29 Kelly Ruddick (USA) wildoats/als                                      
30 Shane Weaver (USA) Hincapie                                           
31 Reid Mumford (USA) ABD Cycling Team                                   
32 Patrick W (USA) ccb/volkswagon                                        
33 Josh Dillon (USA) Fiordifrutta                                        
34 Bennet Van Der Genugten (USA) Bacardi/Nuvo                            
35 Michael Ebert (USA) ABD Cycling Team                                  
36 Chad Nikolz (USA) Broadmark/Hagens-Be                                 
37 Michael Kehrberg (USA) Dogfish                                        
38 Derek Goerke (USA) HRRC/CollegePoint/                                 
39 Patrick Briggs (USA) Cal Giant                                        
40 Dan Vinson (USA) Kahala LaGrange                                      
41 Michael Necessary (USA) Mesa Cycles Racing                            
42 Steen Rose (USA) Richardson Bikemart                                  
43 Christian Kearney (USA) RHVilla.com/Montona                           
44 John Seehafer (USA) Team Einstein's                                   
45 Ryan Gamm (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch                                   
46 Stefan Kadar (USA) RGF Solutions                                      
47 Jason Chatham (USA) Cumberland                                        
48 Andrew Crater (USA) Wheel & Sprocket                                  
49 Andrew Minier (USA) Nature Valley/Penn                                
50 Karim Abdelkader (USA) Tortuga/Big Brothers                           
51 Eric Forrester (USA) Priority Health                                  
52 Scottie Wiess (USA) Hincapie                                          
53 Janne Hamalainen (USA) CTCA / Tulsa                                   
54 Skiles Keith (USA) texas roadhouse                                    
55 Ian Stanford (USA) Nature Valley/ Penn                                
56 Andy Wilson (USA) Karl Strauss/SDBC                                   
57 Mat Ankney (USA) mercy                                                
58 Joshua Carter (USA) Mesa Cycles Racing                                
59 Cole House (USA) Wheel & Sprocket                                     
60 Martin Adamczyk (USA) LOT / POLISH                                    
61 Jeffrey Schroetlin (USA) Mesa Cycles Racing                           
62 Norman Zellers (USA) Health Delivery Inc.                             
63 Charles Crouse (USA) DogFish                                          
64 Tom Burrz (USA) West Michigan Coast                                   
65 Rob Kelley (USA) Training Bible                                       
66 Abraham McNutt (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch                              
67 Jason Smith (USA) Dogfish                                             
68 Frank Dierking (USA) ABD Cycling Team                                 
69 Ben Renkema (USA) WMCR                                                
70 Brian Dziewa (USA) mercy                                              
71 Trevor Lister (USA) Turin Bicycle/Life                                
72 Dan Timmerman (USA) Fiordifrutta                                      
73 Shane Peltonen (USA) Eclipse Racing                                   
74 Luca Fagundes (USA) ABD Cycling Team                                  
75 Paul Swinand (USA) MetLife Cycling                                    
76 Dylan Lewis (USA) ABD                                                 
77 Andrew Lister (USA) Turin Bicycle/Life                                
78 Christopher Monteleone (USA) Hottubes                                 
79 Pat Collier (USA) Summit Velo                                         
80 Steve Sonheim (USA) south central racing                              
81 Paul Sumner (USA) GS Lombardi Sports                                  
82 Brian Wyrick (USA) Mercy presented by                                 
83 Leo Frayre (USA) Richardson Bikemart                                  
84 Christopher Powell (USA) Watermark                                    
85 Edward Beamon (USA) Navigators Insurance                              
86 Matt Willinger (USA) Cal Giant                                        
87 Harry Clark (USA) Texas Roadhouse                                     
88 Joseph Coddington (USA) Manulife Fianacial                            
89 Max Clauson (USA) Wild Oats / Al's                                    
90 Jared Facigzewski (USA) VMG Racing                                    
91 Josh Gewirtz (USA) Fior di Frutta                                     
92 Jack Daugherty (USA) labor power                                      
93 Todd Shaker (USA) abercrombie&fitch p/b                               
94 Chad Thompson (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch                               
95 Guy East (USA) CRCA/Sakonnet                                          
96 John Minturn (USA) Team Hotel San Jose                                
97 Malachi Peacock (USA) Abercrombie & Fitch                             
98 Clark Priebe (USA) Team MACK Racing                                   
99 Randall Coxworth (USA) Karl Strauss/SDBC                              
100 Christopher McDonald (USA) Karl Strauss/SDBC                         

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